By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
THE Lagos State government has so far recovered over N20 billion from unremitted and under-remitted taxes within the last one year, saying she would intensify its noose on taming tax defaulters, even as the government is targeting N17 billion per month to finance the current N204 billion budget of the state.
Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Taxation and Revenue, Mr. Adeola Ipaye and Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler, disclosed these weekend, during a ministerial briefing to commemorate the third anniversary of the Fashola-led administration.
Ipaye said several defaulters of those who were prosecuted by the LIRS for either tax evasion or failure to remit tax deductions from their employees settled outÂ of court while the prosecution was in progress.
â€œIn instances where companies failed to remit tax deducted from their employees, we hold the officer in charge responsible, prosecute such and not the organisation alone.Â These efforts have resulted in the recovery of many outstanding tax liabilities that would have been lost.
â€œThe state government was able to make the recovery because of the employment and deployment of qualified professionals, huge investment in information technology infrastructure and acquired various capital assets and office accommodation which have all contributed towards a 24 per cent increase in the stateâ€™s internally generated revenue over the year.â€
He said the government had intensified effort on tax collection so that it could meet up with the N17 billion monthly target of its Internally Generated Revenue.
â€œIf we intensify our efforts, I believe the target is achievable. In Lagos, our guiding principle is to significantly improve quality of life by maximizing the revenue potentials of the state economy without imposing an excessive burden on taxpayers.â€
In his remarks, Fowler said the tax agency used various enforcement means to generate the fund into the purse of the state government.
He said: â€œDuring the process, over 250 companies were shut down based on the act of tax avoidance and evasion. Before the shutting down is embarked upon by the tax agency, we write letters to such organisations and if they fail to comply with the our requirements, we then take the necessary action against such organisations.â€